Owen Densmore

Owen Densmore has more thirty years of experience in the computer industry, during which he worked with three of the industry’s most innovative companies: Xerox, Apple, and Sun Microsystems. His work spans the spectrum from language systems to networked multimedia to hardware and software, and he holds nine patents in various areas of computing.

At Xerox, Owen was part of the research team designing hardware and software for the newly emerging laser printers, an effort carried out on the novel Alto computing system, the precursor to the Xerox Star, the Apple Macintosh, and the Sun workstation.

At Apple, Owen worked on Mac and Lisa hardware and software, created the first consumer WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) computing, designed the Apple LaserWriter printing architecture, and led the team of engineers that developed the first multi-printer desktop capable of switching seamlessly between laser, dot matrix, and impact printers.

While at Sun, Owen spent four years as chief scientist and head of a small “skunkworks” team looking into emerging technologies and their impact on Sun’s products and services. This work culminated in a cross-industry Java Car project resulting in three Detroit concept cars and the first prototype for the BMW X-5 media system.

During his time at Sun, Owen attended the Santa Fe Institute’s summer school on complex systems, an experience that resulted in a two-and-a-half-year technology transfer program within Sun, delivering peer systems simulations, power law network explorations, and a supply chain simulation for the MIT/Cambridge University AutoID program.

Owen earned a B.S. in math and physics from Georgia Tech in 1964, spent two years in Africa with the Peace Corps, and earned his MA in physics from Syracuse University in 1968.